Atorvastatin - oral

Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Atorvastatin helps lower your cholesterol and triglyceride (fat) levels in the blood.

Excessive cholesterol and triglycerides in your body can clog up your blood vessels. This can lead to many health problems such as stroke and heart diseases, including heart attack.

Atorvastatin is meant to be taken as part of a complete cholesterol management programme that should include exercise, a healthy diet and lifestyle.
How do I take this medicine?
Take Atorvastatin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.

You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.

Atorvastatin must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.

If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
When should I not use this medicine?
Alert your doctor if you have active liver disease or unexplained abnormal blood tests for liver function as Atorvastatin may not be suitable for you.

Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Atorvastatin may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking this medicine.

Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.

Do not take Atorvastatin with certain medicines used to treat hepatitis C or HIV infections, a certain medicine used in organ transplant or immune disorders, and a certain antibiotic. Please see the section "Can I take this with other medicines?" below for more information.
What should I take note of while taking this medicine?
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • previous stroke
  • hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland)
  • personal or family history of muscle disorders
  • history of muscle problems during treatment with other cholesterol-lowering medicines
  • history of liver disease
  • kidney disease
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Atorvastatin to a child or the elderly. Children or elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.

Notify your doctor if you consume large amounts of alcohol or if you are a frequent drinker.

Some genetic traits can increase your risk of side effects from this medicine. If you have an alteration in a gene called SLCO1B1, you are more likely to develop persistent muscle or joint pain, muscle cramps, numbness or weakness from Atorvastatin. Although not routinely done, your doctor may advise you to undergo genetic testing to check if this medicine is best suited for you. If you know you have this gene type, inform your doctor. However, you may still develop muscle problems even if you do not have this gene type. Inform your doctor immediately if you experience muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness especially if it is accompanied by fever or general body discomfort.

Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?

Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
  • Routine tests (e.g. liver function, cholesterol levels) may be done before or during treatment with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
  • Regular monitoring for signs and symptoms of muscle problems may also be needed.
What lifestyle changes should I make to reduce my cholesterol levels?

A healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise are keys to help you reduce your cholesterol levels. Try to control the type and amount of food that you eat each meal. Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet and avoid eating fried foods or foods that are high in fat. If you have not been exercising, start slow and gradually step up your exercise capacity.
What side effects could I experience?
Atorvastatin may cause any of the following side effects: headache, dizziness, nausea, stomach wind, indigestion, diarrhoea, constipation, nosebleed, sore throat, back pain, muscle cramps, rash, and difficulty sleeping.

Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
  • persistent muscle or joint pain, muscle cramps, weakness or numbness
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes, abdominal pain, dark coloured urine, tiredness, swelling in the legs and ankles
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I take this with other medicines?
Do not take Atorvastatin with the following medicines:
  • medicines for hepatitis C infection e.g. glecaprevir/pibrentasvir combination, telaprevir
  • fusidic acid (antibiotic)
  • ciclosporin (medicine used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders)
  • tipranavir/ritonavir combination (medicine for HIV infection)
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
  • other cholesterol-lowering medicines e.g. fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, niacin, ezetimibe, colestipol
  • medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole
  • other antibiotics e.g. erythromycin, clarithromycin
  • other medicines for HIV infection e.g. fosamprenavir, nelfinavir, efavirenz
  • other medicines for hepatitis C infection e.g. boceprevir, elbasvir/grazoprevir combination
  • medicines for high blood pressure e.g. diltiazem, verapamil
  • birth control pills e.g. norethisterone, ethinylestradiol
  • rifampicin (medicine to treat TB, a lung infection known as tuberculosis)
  • digoxin (medicine for irregular heartbeat)
  • St. John's wort (herbal medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Atorvastatin.

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol.

Avoid excessive consumption of grapefruit or grapefruit juice (more than 1 litre a day).

It is important for you to maintain a healthy, low-fat, and balanced diet.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on atorvastatin - oral and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2024 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by
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